A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While the movie tries to show that comic book "geeks" and cosplay enthusiasts can have successful careers and fulfilling lives, they're also frequently the butt of obvious and stereotypical jokes, including frequent mockery.
Positive Role Models
While the movie spends a lot of time among characters who are obsessed with comic books and cosplay, much of the humor is rooted in making cliched and stereotyped fun of "geeks," even as it makes some attempt to show that people interested in these things can have as successful careers and fulfilling lives as anyone else in the "real world."
Violence & Scariness
Grisly police violence. Characters found murdered in a variety of disturbing ways, their corpses graphically shown as the police coroner goes into detail about how they were tortured and killed. Characters fight with guns, punches, kicks, a tire iron. Talk of how a "kid" raped, dismembered, and decapitated a 6-year-old girl. Discussion of how a sibling of one of the lead characters died while saving three people from a burning building. Talk of how one of the lead character's parents were killed in a manner resembling how Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. Lead character talks of how he was bullied every day growing up, physically and verbally.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate kissing in one scene. The comic-book obsessed lead character keeps a large collection of anime pornography hidden in a secret compartment behind his bedroom wall. Back side of overweight comic book-obsessed character shown for comedic effect in two scenes. Talk of masturbation. In a comic book store, two customers are overheard debating whether or not Dumbledore and Grindelwald ever had sex.
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Frequent profanity. "F--k" often used. Also: "s--t," "s--tballs," "d--khead," "piss," "bastard," "ass."
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Products & Purchases
Coca-Cola mentioned by name.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Unknown Origins is a 2020 action-horror-comedy in which a slacker comic book store owner helps a cynical detective track down a serial killer. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles. The murders are based on the origin stories of various superheroes, and there are graphic depictions of the corpses when discovered at the crime scenes and in the morgue. In addition to the violence of the murders, there's other talk of violent crimes perpetrated, including a scene in which the coroner discusses how a "kid" raped, dismembered, and decapitated a 6-year-old girl. Frequent profanity, including "f--k." Also: "s--t," "s--tballs," "d--khead," "piss," "bastard," "ass." Talk of masturbation, sex, and scenes in which it's revealed that the comic bookstore owner keeps a large collection of anime pornography in his room. Brief nonsexual nudity -- a character's butt crack makes an appearance for the sake of comedy. Wine drinking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While not perfect, this film does present a unique take on the superhero story. There are some nice twists that are clearly rooted in the familiar stories of misfits, conflicted heroes, and psychopathic bad guys, and out of these conventions, new heroes emerge with one foot in the comic book universe, and the other in the real world. This is especially true of the two lead characters, and while the "opposite" characters in police-centered movies is as cliched as it gets, there's enough in the acting and chemistry between the two leads to add something new to the storylines.
However, it's some of these very conventions that hinder Unknown Origins. For instance, it really doesn't take that long to figure out who the serial killer is if you pay the slightest bit of attention. And in terms of its conveyance of so-called geek culture, the movie can't seem to decide if it wants to portray comic book and cosplay enthusiasts as either the cliche of dateless and socially awkward weirdos or competent functioning adults with a quirky side hobby, and end up trying to have it both ways. With the former, the attempts at humor are lazy and unoriginal, and they tend to negate the latter. While it doesn't ruin what is otherwise an engaging movie, it does prevent it from being as good as it might have been.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.